That’s not the way the pope would put it, but… (Week 32: Purpose and Miracles)


This past week, I had a Wednesday deadline and a conference that started on Friday, and so really all that existed was Thursday. Monday I wrote. Tuesday, I played hooky—rafting with the kids. Wednesday, I wrote. Thursday, I pondered why I exist. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, I was building a tribe.

On Friday, before leaving for the weekend, I cover all the windows in the house with blankets. The heat wave is kicking our collective asses here. I like it hot, really, but last week finally hits too hot for me. The house is not built for this type of heat, I murmur as I dig up more blankets. We are living in a den. Thank goodness my writing space and the basement bedroom are in cool enough to breathe in.

For unclear reasons, I think about Ecuador.

The nights are already coming too soon. No more midnight sun.

I’m reading Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and Steven Pressfield’s The Artist’s Journey. Except when Sean and I take turns reading Birds of Alberta to Ender at bedtime.

Sean: I didn’t think it was possible, but this book is more boring than the Reptiles and Amphibians of Canada.

He’s wrong. Do you know how many salamander species and sub-species there are in Alberta and their identifying characteristics?

I do.

I don’t find this is knowledge I really needed at the moment. But there it is. Perhaps it will come in handy at my conference.

Her: I’m a herpetologist.

Jane: Really? Have you ever seen an encina in the wild?

Her: Why yes, two years ago, when I was…

Everything has a purpose, nothing has a purpose.

Albert Einstein, allegedly, said that we have one fundamental choice in life. We can live as if everything is a miracle… or as if nothing is a miracle.

I was raised Catholic so the word “miracle” is laden with meaning and baggage—as well as a strict papal—definition. I don’t believe in Catholic miracles.

But I do believe we have this choice: to live life as if it and we have a purpose. Or to live life as if it doesn’t, and we don’t… and if we don’t… why live?


I wake  up. Stretch like a cat and ponder getting a more comfotable mattress. Think about the things I need to do today, their order. Climb up the two flights of stairs to the bathroom.


“The first thing you do in the morning sets the tone for the day.”

Come on. We all start the day with a piss. It’s a physical necessity, not a magic eight ball.

Scrape my tongue (TMI, I apologize, but btw, it’s probably the most useful thing I’ve learned from Ayurvedic cookbooks). Brush teeth. Drink water. Make coffee. Let the dog out to pee—do not lose it when I see a pile of shit by the balcony door. She has no opposable thumbs—I’m not sure she has much of a brain, either—she can’t let herself out. She’s my responsibility.

Clean up the shit—literally, but that can be a metaphor. Wash my hands.


Today, the first page is private, whining-fear-reflection. Then, this. After? Conference. I won’t have a chance to write again today. But that’s ok. I’ve done enough to keep th ehabit and to stay connected to the purpose.

Now—one more cup of coffee. A few pages of Elinor. A shower. Meditation. Breakfast (Eggs!). Pack.

And… go.


I went. It was good. Repeat two more times. Crash.




Everything has a purpose. I have a purpose. And if I don’t… well, I have to live as if I do.

And… go.




The year started with a Monday; so does every week (Week 1: Transitions and Intentions)

Easier than you think, harder than I expected: a week in eleven stanzas (Week 2: Goodness and Selfishness)

A moody story (Week 3: Ebb and Flow)

Do it full out (Week 4: Passions and Outcomes)

The Buddha was a psychopath and other heresies (Week 5: No Cohesion)

A good week (Week 6: Execute, Regroup)

Killing it (Week 7: Exhaustion and Adrenaline)

Tired, petty, tired, unimportant (Week 8: Disappointment and Perseverance)

Professionals do it like this: [insert key scene here] (Week 9: Battle, Fatigue, Reward)

Reading Nabokov, crying, whining, regrouping (Week 10: Tears and Dreams)

Shake the Disease (Week 11: Sickness and Health… well, mostly sickness)

Cremation, not embalming, but I think I might live after all (Week 12: Angst and Gratitude)

Let’s pretend it all does have meaning (Week 13: Convalescence and Rebirth)

The cage is will, the lock is discipline (Week 14: Up and Down)

My negotiated self thinks you don’t exist–wanna make something of it? (Week 15: Priorities and Opportunity)

An introvert’s submission + radical prioritization in action, also pouting (Week 16: Ruthless and Weepy)

It’s about a radical, sustainable rhythm (Week 17: Sprinting and Napping)

It was a pickle juice waterfall but no bread was really harmed in the process (Week 18: Happy and Sad)

You probably shouldn’t call your teacher bad names, but sometimes, your mother must (Week 19: Excitement and Exhaustion)

Tell me I’m beautiful and feed me cherries (Week 20: Excitement and Exhaustion II)

A very short post about miracles, censorship, change: Week 21 (Transitions and Celebrations)

Time flies, and so does butter (Week 22: Remembering and forgetting)

I love you, I want you, I need you, I can’t find you (Week 23: Work and Rest)

You don’t understand—you can’t treat my father’s daughter this way (Week 24: Fathers and Daughters)

The summer was… SULTRY (Week 25: Gratitude and Collapse)

It’s like rest but not really (Week 26: Meandering and Reflection)

It’s the wrong question (Week 27: Success and Failure)

On not meditating but meditating anyway, and a cameo from John Keats (Week 28: Busy and Resting)

Hot, cold, self-indulgent as fuck (Week 29: Fire and Ice)

In which our heroine hides under a table (Week 30: Tears and Chocolate)

Deadlines and little lies make the world go round (Week 31: Honesty and Compassion)


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